Proposal 1 suffered the worst defeat Tuesday of any Michigan ballot measure since the current Constitution was adopted more than a half-century ago, as 80 percent of voters rejected the sales tax increase and road funding plan. . . .
This year’s thumping occurred even though the measure was backed by Gov. Rick Snyder as well as the Republican and Democratic legislative leaders from last year’s Michigan House and Senate. . . .
The ballot proposal, which lawmakers slapped together a week before Christmas, got off to a rough start in early January when a team of political consultants quit the fledgling campaign over differences in strategy with Snyder’s office. Against the State: An ... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details)
While the “yes” campaign was trying to regroup, Saginaw County businessman Paul Mitchell set up an opposition group and began lambasting the proposal for directing $700 million to areas unrelated to repairing roads, such as education, cities, public transit and an expanded tax break for the working poor.
Mitchell called the non-road spending a “a $700 million toll to special interests,” defining the issue before the “yes” campaign could respond on the airwaves. . . .
The Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, which represents road builders, poured more than $5.4 million of its members’ money into the Safe Roads Yes campaign.
“We don’t see this as a failure,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of MITA. “We see this as one step that helped us to clarify the message.”
(For more on this clobbering, click the link.)